Monday, December 18

Driver Safety: Use The Turn Signals

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Driver safety: Use the turn signals

There are traffic laws requiring the use of turn signals for turns and lane changes but some drivers still do not seem to think they need to use the turn indicator. Using that turn indicator lets other drivers know your next move.  It is even more important these days than it was in times past. Drivers today seem to pay less attention to what goes on around them than they used to. That is due to two things. Their vehicles are smooth-riding, climate controlled, running under cruise control so they do not need to watch their speed, and they are loaded with distractions, ranging from radios and CD players to phone jacks and televisions (!).  Anything that acts to alert drivers to a change in their surroundings is a good idea.

Letting that driver behind you know that you are about to make a turn can give her time to adjust, rather than having to make a sudden move because the car in front of her is no longer moving at the same speed. Using a signal when changing lanes can prevent the kind of serious collision that occurs when one car speeds up just at the moment when another car is moving into his lane.

Some people do not use a turn signal because they think they do not need it in the particular situation they are in at the moment. For example, they may be exiting a highway and see no need for a signal as they approach the exit ramp because there are no vehicles behind them. Why signal if nobody will see it or anyone who does see it will not care? That seems to make sense but the problem is you may be mistaken. Maybe you just did not see that motorcycle coming up behind you. He changes lanes to pass you, you move over into the next lane without signaling, and the driver of the motorcycle has a very bad day. The only solution is to always use a turn signal. Use it every single time.

Watch the 18-wheelers on the road. There are a few lazy ones, but only a few. The vast majority of them single every single turn and lane change. When they get on a highway, that left turn signal is blinking, indicating their intention of merging into traffic. If you do not use a signal every single time you intend to turn, enter or exit a highway, or make a lane change, there may come a time when you should have signaled and did not. The only way to be sure you will use it when somebody needs to know what you are about to do is to signal every time.

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